Potential Design Problem with Contract of the Third Pillar

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kawaiiwolf
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Potential Design Problem with Contract of the Third Pillar

Post by kawaiiwolf » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:52 am

Referencing:
https://wantonwicked.gamingsandbox.com/ ... uide#toc13

I wanted to look into a discussion to fix a potentially broken (the undervalued way) aspect of one of the custom contracts for the site, or at least open up a dialogue to help understand it a little better. Specifically, I'm looking at the Wizened clause:
Wizened: Wizened who incorporate a mystical tool in their ritual- a hedgespun wand, a Token, or even a Mage’s dedicated tool also imbue the power of the ritual into the tool and gain their successes as a bonus to a single roll when using the tool in another fashion during the scene.
While at face value, this looks to be of interest, things take a turn for the worse when you start looking at the Wizened Curse "The Problem with Perfection" and the way merits are handled on the site. This can be found in C01 under the wizened on page 62, but for ease of access it is reproduced as follows:
... Additionally, fae things break down in the hands of a Wizened. Failures with hedgespun items and tokens mean the item
simply falls apart or suffers frustrating, critical malfunction
While this works well enough in a table top game, where every merit dot for items and goodies doesn't necessarily have to be paid for with experience, on the chat the books must be balanced. Wizened are in a unique condition that they can nullify their own experience point expenditures as it regards tokens and hedgespun items. It deincentivizes buying them since we can lose them on any failed roll, and the dice are not always kind, nor are conditions to save our investments always available (stalwart, informed, etc.). This means (with the exception of a mage wand which is implicit), the vast majority of the tokens utilized for this clause will be borrowed for a dice bonus and their very existence threatened by use of this contract. That alone makes it almost not worth it to ever risk the item for use in this clause, unless you happen to be friends with a mage/non-changeling who plays loose with their magical implements. Worse yet, this can be open for active abuse: having a 3rd pillar wizened purposefully destroy your hedgespun item via failure in order for them to reclaim experience points on an investment no longer panning out. This does not feel like it's in the spirit of the contract's design.

So, with all that in mind, it's almost never worth the risk that a failure will ruin an item that time/xp was invested in for a small, one time bonus. The clause ends up being almost useless except to teach to non-wizened who don't suffer the same limitation.

Is there room to go back and look at it's design (just the wizened clause) ? Or have I grossly misinterpreted the rules/design ?
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Post by randomim » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:42 am

I think tne issue resolving this is the Sanctity of Merits rule. If you invested xp into a merit such as a hedgespun or token and it gets lost or destroyed somehow you get to reinvest the xp, especially into a replacement. Fear not: your xp is safe from stupid dice destroying it
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ChrisF
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Post by ChrisF » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:37 am

First of all, items borrowed that ARENT tokens or hedgepun items or otherwise of fae origin are not susceptible to the Wizened weakness. Second, as mentioned, we have Sanctity of Merits.
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Post by Paper Tiger » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:28 am

ChrisF wrote:First of all, items borrowed that ARENT tokens or hedgepun items or otherwise of fae origin are not susceptible to the Wizened weakness. Second, as mentioned, we have Sanctity of Merits.
I think part of the issue isn't just the Sanctity of Merits, here. I believe a portion of the concern is that making new hedgespun and tokens are also an investment of time in the form of materials gathering and crafting, as well as any potential wait time on having the replacement item approved and added to a sheet?

I haven't scrutinized the contract, and don't know the deal with Wizend, however, the time requirements involved might be considered a hindrance to enjoying the game by some?
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Post by ChrisF » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:38 am

Well, the Wizened bonus, if anything, makes that less likely. It does NOT count as a roll using the item if you fail the contract activation while trying to use the affinity bonus, meaning if it DOES succeed you get a bonus that makes the roll more likely to succeed if you use the item that scene.
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